Millennials, be thoughtful and well-informed

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“Teens hate Donald Trump because of social media, not because of his policies.” This was a quote I found posted by a political commentary page. I could not agree more. Too often, I see Redwood students and teens’ political views shaped by abnormally biased social media news outlets such as NowThis, Think Progressive, or Right Wing News. It is time for us millennials to stop basing our ideas off of information from biased sites. We should must create our own political ideas and educated opinions.

I acknowledge that it is human nature to be biased, as even the major news outlets like CNN and NBC are biased to a certain degree, we must do our best to steer clear of ultra-biased sites who give false information and ridicule candidates. By reading news sources with differing opinions, it helps you to understand the other side of the political spectrum, which will not only make you more informed, but also create a better environment for healthy political discussion.

I am a Trump supporter. And I truly believe in many of his policies. However, I can understand where those who are opposed to the presumptive Republican nominee come from. One thing I do not understand is why people say, “I will never vote for Trump because he’s ignorant.” I know that the reason they say this is because of the controversial quotes social media outlets post, sometimes taken completely out of context.

This only reaffirms my support for him. When people who are anti-Trump have no political or factual reasons to justify their view, I grow more confident in my support for him because I understand his policies, because there is no real reason for their disapproval of the Republican candidate. I do not have a problem with hearing and participating in open discussions about politics with liberals as long as they will provide reasonable arguments based on fact and reason.

Image by Asha Cummings

But all too often, I see articles shared on Facebook that are not only factually incorrect, but have an uncanny amount of bias. Naturally, all sources have some amount of bias, but certain articles have an amount that make me click “X” immediately. For example, people have shared articles about Trump refusing to share his tax plan to journalist George Stephanopoulos. The GOP nominee told the journalist it was “none of your business,” but his the articles lack the necessary context.

People fail to realize that Stephanopoulos is a well-known Hillary Clinton advocate who loves to ridicule conservative ideals (he was Bill Clinton’s communication director and a popular presence in the Democratic party), so it makes sense that Trump would not reveal his plan to someone who he suspects will not follow objective journalistic work.

I reviewed a week’s worth of posts on a Facebook page, NowThis Election, and what I found were anti-Trump messages using the nominee’s quotes taken out of context, and pro-Hillary and Bernie quotes, also taken out of context. This is not news. This is uneeded and extreme bias trying to brainwash frequent social media users to give their vote to a particular candidate, either Republican and Democrat.
Though I am a Republican, I can see that the issue of young adults wholeheartedly trusting social media for facts is an issue for the conservative campaign as well. There are equally misleading pages on Facebook that anger me because they post anything they please without checking the facts. Right Wing News consistently posts articles that are inaccurate and give Republicans false hope. I have seen the headline, “Hillary Clinton’s campaign could be over by this news!” too many times without real reason or valid sources.

Experts believe this election to be one of the most important ones in our country’s history. The country could move in polarizing directions depending on who wins, and we cannot allow extremely biased sites like NowThis and Right Wing News to give us false facts and ultra-opinionated work. Above all else, we cannot allow this to factor into our vote for president.

As teens, it is our duty to receive our news and shape our views by looking at the issues as objectively as we can and reading news from both sides of the spectrum. Naturally, we are all biased people. However, we must try to take a step back and form our opinions only after understanding both sides. We cannot fall to these bogus “news” outlets on social media that display an unfair level of bias and hand out often factually incorrect statements and accusations. Instead, we must look at policies and candidates from as objective of a standpoint as possible. Read pieces from both ends of the political, and it will make you more informed and politically smarter.